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Nov 9, 2017

What in the world does Netflix's suspenseful Stranger Things, have to do with All Saint's Day and it's biblical lessons? Rev. Beverly Gibson (Christ Church Cathedral) uses this wildly popular series plot of two seperate realms that are connecting and colliding as an analogy for understanding our spiritual realms of Earth and God's Heavenly Kingdom, and the unity of the living and the dead.

 

What you will hear:

  • Are the two realms of Earth and God's Kingdom separate?
  • How are they united?
  • How do we leak more of God's Kingdom into our harsh reality?
  • What role do the Beatitudes and Jesus' teachings play in this connection to this intertwining of these two worlds?
  • What is mercy and how can it's energy bind us all closer to God and each other?
  • Is there ever a quarrel between Man and God?

Readings

Revelation 7:9-17
1 John 3:1-3
Matthew 5:1-12

 

Topics and discussions

> Celebrating All Saints Day at Christ Church Cathedral
> Unity of the living and the dead
> The eternal presence of God for all people and all creatures
> Looking back at those we have lost we experience the harsh realities of the reality of what we know and a realm in which we can only speculate.
> The common thread of the town of Hawkins in Netflick's show Stranger Things and the reality of upside down which is decay and darkness and the right side up - things that seem light and full of mercy and light
> The two realms of Hawkins is separate but intertwined and connected - much like our world and heaven. Separated but connected
> All Saints Day described in the illustration of John's Cloud of Witnesses and the Temple Cult of Heaven in the Book of Revelations is the realm of light and mercy while the realm of earth can seem dark and scary
> While Stranger Things is a TV entertainment experience and just an example of a correlation of two realms that collide, the experience of All Saints Sunday is different, and our connection to the Kingdom of God is a spiritual one
> Separated but still connected
> Jewish apocalyptic literature has a purpose of revealing a temple cult in heaven where God is worshiped eternally no matter what is happening on Earth. Even the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
> Worship in the eternal temple goes on
> We are to worship God from Earth with an eye to this other Temple of Heaven
> We worship God on Earth by following the teachings of Jesus laid out in the Beatitudes
> Beatitudes - another vision of the blessed who are a part of the eternal worship of God
> Mercy is an action
> Is a constant and unconditional living force that moves through all things that bind us all together in God
> The energy of God's love that runs throughout the universe
> Thoreau - aware of God's loving energy moving through all things
> There are no quarrels with God. Only we, humans create quarrels with God in our own wilfulness and misunderstandings
> All Saint's Sunday focus us on that uniting force through time and space in the eternal now
> We live and move and have our being in mercy
> To be merciful with ourselves, with others, and with our world is to receive that energy that runs through all creation and unites us
> Learning things about ourselves, the world and spirituality can be learned in many modern stories that are all around us
> Making something like Revelations accessible to others by using stories like Stranger Things as a metaphor
> Bible references in many pop-culture stories and art
> C.S. Lewis and the Chronicle of Narnia as an allegory
> The universal and ancient stories that is passed down in our traditions and history of a species
> These stories of universal existential mysteries combines us to our ancestors and helps us make sense of these big questions of existence and the darkness of our own time
> Stranger Things did an excellent job of balancing the existence of the darkness of evil and the light of good
> I Sing Of The Saints of God - Saints are everywhere and "I want to be one too"
> The Cloud of Witnesses includes the living and the dead
> Saints can be alive today by living mercifully and the teachings of the Beatitudes
> The transformative power of studying and understanding the lives of Saints
> Not hiding children from stories that have dark themes if there is a valuable lesson in the story
> We must have eternal vigilance against evil because there is no such thing is real life that is happily ever after
> The Bible is a historic and guide that can be used to learn to handle issues that we may not understand, much like the Stranger Things kids used Dungeons & Dragons to give them insight into something no one can explain.
> Understanding apocalyptic visions like the Book of Revelations and how to see there are many interpretations of that reading
> Talking about death with hope and in the vision of God's love and mercy helps us to ease our fear of death